Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ginger Lemon Curd

A British tour guide recently asked me if Americans eat lemon curd.  I said, "on occasion," and she replied, "I love lemon curd." So, here is to you British lady.  I have to admit that lemon curd is delightful; it is a refreshing summer spread.  I used a recipe from Ina Garten, but I added ginger, which was inspired.

According to Wikipedia, fruit curds are spreads made with egg yokes, fruit zest, fruit juice, and sugar.  Ina used the whole egg in her recipe, which I am happy about because what are you supposed to do with egg whites?  Beginning in the 1800s, the English ate lemon curd with scones and bread for afternoon tea.  I have seen a few mango curd recipes online, which sound delectable.

I used 1 1/2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup butter, zest of 3 lemons, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1 heaping tablespoon ginger.

I have moved up in the world; I now own a microplane.  I removed the zest from the lemons and grated the ginger into the sugar.  Avoid the pith!

Ms. Gartner used a food processor to blend her sugar and zest, but I just used a fork to make this pale yellow sand.

You are supposed to cream the butter with the lemon sugar, which I did but didn't show.  I then added the lemon juice after creaming the sugar and butter.  I only used the three naked lemons to obtain 1/2 cup of juice, but I had to squeeze those poor lemons to death.  I went out of order and added the the lemon juice before the eggs.  

As I mentioned earlier, I added the entire egg.  I mixed after each egg addition.  I don't know if that is necessary, but that's how Ina did it.  I was supposed to add the lemon juice at this point, but I don't think it really mattered because it turned out fine.

I poured the sugary liquid into a saucepan. 

Ina made a point of directing the chief to cook the liquid on low heat.  I cooked on low heat for 25 minutes before the curd thickened, so you wouldn't be amiss to use medium low heat.  Especially since the instructions say it should only take 10 minutes to thicken.

This curd is truly divine.  Given that it is made from sugar, eggs, butter, and lemon juice, that shouldn't be too surprising.  The ginger was a luscious addition.  I was afraid the ginger would be too strong, but it was very subtle.    

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